20 May 16

2016 NRA Convention, in Louisville, KY:

Vicki and I attended the first day of the NRA Convention today.

Vendor area is huge! Eleven acres. It is beginning to rival the SHOT Show!

As with the SHOT Show, we enjoyed a day of seeing new products, and many old friends!

DJT was at the Convention, and made a speech as expected, and his candidacy received the NRA’s endorsement, also as expected. Secret Service checked everyone who attended his speech, and there was a long line. We, of course, stayed as far away as possible, and watched it all on TV this evening. That is as close as I ever want to get to any political candidate!

Some attendees where carrying pistols openly. They garnered scant attention! Many others (including us) were carrying concealed. There was a high level of politeness!

We were told that there might be a contingent of sign-carrying “protestors,” particularly since DJT was there. I didn’t see a single one! It was rainy in the afternoon, and I think it doesn’t take much discomfort to discourage that kind of low-life. In any event, none showed up.

The SHOT Show is a traditional “trade show.” That is, manufacturers and big distributors set-up displays, and they spend their time talking with buyers, and writing orders. At the SHOT Show, you’ll be talking with salesmen.

The NRA Convention vendor area is a “consumer show.” At the NRA vendor area, you won’t talk with salesmen. You’ll talk with customer-service people, who want unfiltered input from end-use customers, not just retailers.

Both shows have their place, but I am delighted to be sincerely asked directly by customer-service people how I think their products can be improved, and of course, I tell them. Many CEOs really don’t want to know, but customer service people do!

The NRA is, as we all know, far from perfect. Yet, most of us will agree that, if it weren’t for the NRA, we would have all been frightened, dependant, defenseless, unarmed, wretched peons years ago, much like in Mexico, and for all the same reasons! When you attend this show, you’ll begin to realize what a huge, powerful, righteous, and influential organization the NRA really is. Politicians are afraid of us, and should be!

Some items that caught my attention:

SIG’s wonderful 320 pistol (a copy of which I’m currently carrying) has a new version, called the LIMA. It has an integrated laser that does not modify the profile of the pistol at all. No bulges anywhere!

SIG’s RDO, called the ROMEO, looks a great deal like the Aimpoint T1/T2, and SIG now has their own riser and quick-release mount. Price is attractive! The one you want is the “4M”

We saw the S&W Shield in 45ACP. Only slightly bigger than the 9mm! Seven plus one.

Friends at Hi-Viz assured me that their “magazine socks,” that I mentioned in yesterday’s Quip about flying, are in stock and available. Contact them directly.

I handled, for the first time, a 7.62×39 military rifle called the M10X, manufactured (entirely in the USA) by M+M Manufacturing. It will be available in a month or two. Full-length rail. Takes AK magazines. Reminiscent of the SIG 556!

Coonan Arms, makers of their famous 38Spl/357Mg autoloading pistol, now have a model in 45ACP! Looks and feels like a 1911. Takes 1911 magazines.

I thought Beretta might be debuting their Glock-like APX Pistol. No such luck! I was told we’d see it at the 2017 SHOT Show in Las Vegas.

I had lunch with Justin Moon, CEO of Kahr Arms and my good friend. Justin actually solicits information from gun-carriers like me. He is top-drawer!

A company called Recluse Holsters showed us a pocket-liner (holster) for the G42. Best one I’ve seen! We now are testing a copy!

My long-time friend, Lynn Thompson, CEO of Cold Steel had, as always, an elaborate booth and new products on display. We got several of his wonderful “neck-knives” for our granddaughters. Also, look at his double-edge “Chaos!” I now have a copy.

We’ll be back tomorrow!